Happy 2017! I hope everyone was able to enjoy some vacation time or days off over the past week or so, and that everyone enjoyed their New Year’s Eve, whether it was a quiet night at home or out celebrating with the masses! Mine was quiet. I don’t really “do” New Year’s. Plus I had to get up early for the boat to attend Riley’s graduation for Master at Arms Training Camp at Naval Station Newport on Sunday. The ceremony was short, Riley had a great time and learned a lot, and the naval base was surprisingly lovely. I guess the fact that it was a relatively nice day and being right on the water helped.
Big happy birthday wishes go out to Don Casey, who celebrated in style on Jan. 3 with a nice home-cooked meal and store-bought cake! Happy birthday wishes also go out to Tom Sawyer, who celebrated on Jan. 5.
Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) has several important events they want to share with readers. “Conversations that Matter: A Dialogue on Teen Substance Abuse,” a forum for parents and caregivers of teens and tweens with recovery coach and peer mentor Thulani DeMarsay will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, from 6 to 8 pm at the MVRHS library. This discussion on teen substance abuse helps parents and caregivers to identify and address early warning signs of drug use, and provides tools for prevention. Learn proactive ways to engage your child about drugs and alcohol, and discover strategies to help you to move beyond discomfort so that you can be more effective. Translation services are available upon request by calling 508-693-7900, ext. 410. For more information, visit mvcommunityservices.com/events.
Also on Thursday, Jan. 12, there will be a meeting titled “Progress for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning) Youth Communities and Remaining Gaps,” at 5:30 pm in the Oak Bluffs library meeting room. The Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth and partners are hosting a listening session on progress for LGBTQ youth. For more information, visit mvcommunityservices.com/events.
MVCS Island Counseling Center will be hosting a Transgender Support Group for adults and youth of all ages who are in any stage of the process of transitioning from their assigned gender to their affirmed gender. The aim of the group is to provide a safe space where members have the opportunity to discuss their experiences and concerns in a confidential setting while developing a support system. Anyone who is interested in joining the support group should meet with the group coordinator, Rikki, prior to attending their first group. For questions and to schedule an initial meeting, please call Rikki Pashen, Psy.D. at 508-693-7900, ext. 241.
Light in Darkness is the theme of the New Year’s first Meditations of Peace service this Saturday, Jan. 7, at 3 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital chapel. Held several times each year, the interfaith Meditations of Peace gatherings include readings, reflections, and prayer, along with music, guided meditation, and contemplative times of quiet. Presenters from a range of faiths and disciplines, using forms from spoken word to music and movement, will offer a variety of perspectives on peace.
Highlighting Saturday’s hour-long gathering, Cheryl Burns will present a Japanese bell-ringing ceremony, “Joya No Kane”; Jannette Vanderhoop will offer a short period of Qigong, a meditative and calming movement practice. Members of the Threshold Choir will perform a Song of Peace, and the Rev. Susan Waldrop will lead a healing meditation focusing on “Radical Acceptance.” Peggy McGrath, who practices contemplative or “centering” prayer, a Christian meditative tradition, will introduce a final meditation on “Light Out of Darkness.” “Dona Nobis Pacem,” the familiar song of peace, concludes the program. Meditations of Peace is open to all, free of charge. For more information, call 973-879-9813.
The Edgartown Library has some new times for events this month. Toddler Time is every Thursday at 10:30 am. This week’s theme is Music, Action Rhymes, Mother Goose and a Story.
On Friday, Jan. 6, at 3:30 pm, kids can make a decorative snowman during arts and crafts. And Story Time is now every Saturday at 10:30 am.
On Friday, Jan. 13, at 3:30 pm, Josey Kirkland, the Felix Neck program director, presents “Tracking Animals in the Winter,” a program on how to recognize your animal neighbors by their tracks.
Once again, The Federated Church, 45 South Summer Street in Edgartown, will provide a free lasagna luncheon every Sunday from Jan. 8 to March 26. The luncheon is served from 12:30 pm to 2 pm in the Federated Church Parish House. If you are hungry for food, companionship, or spiritual nourishment, please stop by. The meal consists of a salad, a serving of lasagna, garlic bread, beverage, and something sweet. No donations will be accepted at this event. For more information call 508-627-4421, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out their website at federatedchurchmv.org.
I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. May 2017 be the year that you make dreams come true!